Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Starving child dies in Birmingham

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A man and a woman have been charged with neglect after a seven-year-old girl reportedly died of starvation in Birmingham. The girl, named by police as Khyra Ishaq, and five other youngsters were found in the early hours of May 17 at a terraced house in Leyton Road, in the Handsworth area of the city. The six children were discovered lying on mattresses with the seven-year-old seriously ill and the others showing signs of emaciation, according to reports. All six were taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital where the girl died. Angela Gordon, 33, and Junaid Abuhamza, 29, have been charged with child neglect. They are believed to have been Khyra's mother and stepfather. According to ITV News reporter Emma Murphy, one neighbour who had been putting out bread in her garden for birds believes it was instead being eaten by the hungry children. Local residents said three of the youngsters were seen in recent months looking "extremely thin". A West Midlands Police statement said: "We can confirm that a seven-year-old girl was taken to hospital on Saturday 17 May where she was pronounced dead. The girl's name is Khyra Ishaq of Leyton Road, Handsworth. Her cause of death has not been confirmed at this stage. "Police are conducting enquiries and a man aged 29 and a woman aged 33 have been charged with neglect and appeared before Birmingham Magistrates on May 19. They have been remanded to appear again on 28 May."

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